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Froling wood boiler installation underway!!

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by Piker, Mar 6, 2010.

  1. Singed Eyebrows

    Singed Eyebrows New Member

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    Bioheat posted awhile back that the price had been reduced to right around 10 grand from $12,000. Bioheat has boiler "packages" that are in the 20 grand area, Randy

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  2. Piker

    Piker Minister of Fire

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    I would not hesitate to agree with you on this issue. Even setting aside the issue of increased efficiency over standard wood boilers or even wood gasifiers, the ease of use with this boiler is enough to justify the investment for alot of people. The control on this boiler is completely automatic... when you open the front door, the draft fan turns on to full power. Set your wood in the firebox,(no kindling required since the last time the Froling shut down it left a generous coal bed in the upper chamber) place one piece of newspaper in the lighting door if the coals have gone cold, and leave the lighting door open for just a couple of minutes (2 or 3), at which time you will literally have a roaring fire. Shut the lighting door, close the outer door, and forget about the wood boiler until tomorrow. The froling takes care of everything else. Everything. Draft induction along with the smoke extraction passage at the top of the firebox keeps smoke and ash from entering the home almost completely. Like most residential wood heating equipment, you will need to remove the ash from time to time. The ash hod that bioheat offers is a handy little box with a sliding lid that keeps the dust inside while you carry it outside... and since the draft fan will be running when you clean the boiler, you still don't have to worry about excessive ash dust escaping into the home... almost all of it gets pulled back into the boiler.

    When I get caught up, I will to make a realitime video of lighting this boiler for our website. You will all be astonished, I promise.

    cheers
  3. Piker

    Piker Minister of Fire

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    I already do love it!

    I know there are many other good products available, and I don't want to take away from their legitimate place in our free market... but as a former sales rep for a reputable gasifier company here in the states, I've had the privilege to take a birds eye view of the entire industry that most folks never get. This boiler is at the pinnacle of everything I have seen thus far... not that I have seen everything... just that what I have seen doesn't really even come close. A good word to describe this unit is "smooth." If it weren't so tacky, I would have added several O's to the word smooth to accentuate it's smoothness. From it's appearance to it's operation... it's just smooth.

    cheers

    more pics coming in a couple days.
  4. sparke

    sparke Minister of Fire

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    Quick side not on amperage - voltage - and cost. Piker, you are correct at 220 volts you will draw less amperage. However, the cost will not be less because when the power company figures out the bill they use a math formula that will multiply amperage X voltage used. They get ya one way or the other...
  5. Piker

    Piker Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the correction. This is one of those things that you've heard from so many people that you never really thought to do the math yourself. Since the electric company charges by the watt (killowatt), and not by amps, it only stands to reason that since a watt is a watt is a watt... you get charged the same amount whether it's at twice the amperage or half the amperage.

    Always learning.

    cheers.
  6. Mac-HD

    Mac-HD New Member

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    Piker ( or Duane ) I am curious- I thought you were an Econoburn man from what I had read here in The Boiler Forum- what made you switch to the Froling? M.
  7. Chris Hoskin

    Chris Hoskin TarmSalesGuy

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    just for the record:

    FHG-L 20/30 is $9950.00
    FHG-L 40/50 is $10,700.00

    add about $1000.00 in accessories for a typical sale.

    These boilers must be used with storage, the additional cost of which can vary widely. If you purchase a turn-key boiler and thermal storage package (as most do) the total cost can approach $20k. For example, an FHG-L 20/30 with a single 400 gallon tank (pressurized) and all accessories will sell for just under $16k and an FHG-L 40/50 with two 400 gallon tanks and all accessories will run just under $20k.

    hope that clears things up.
  8. djbutt

    djbutt Member

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    Nice pictures. Glad to hear you seem to be impressed with performance.
    I'm in the process, although much slower, of installing the same boiler.

    Do you think 1000 gal is enough storage?

    I would like to use my system year round for heat in cold months and DHW in warm months.

    My quick math assuming a few things, such as 20,000,000 BTUs per cord of mixed hardwoods, a Delta T of 50, a realistic efficiency of only 80%, and a realistic full load of 6 cu. ft of fuel.

    6 cu ft of wood = 937,500 BTUs x 80% efficiency = 750,000 BTUs per load.

    750,000 BTUs / 8.33 lbs per gal / 50 delta T = 1800 gals of storage to burn a full load without the house calling for heat.

    It seems to me that this boiler, with it's ability to run at peak performance throughout a full burn, could easily "overrun" 1000 gal of storage.
  9. djbutt

    djbutt Member

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    The package that BioHeat recomends includes 2 400 gallon tanks with the 50. 800 gallons seems way to small.

    Can my numbers be that far off from reality.

    I'm planning on 2000 gallons and hoping it will not be too much.
  10. DaveBP

    DaveBP Minister of Fire

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    The delta T you can use for your storage tank calculations will depend on what kind of emitters you are using to heat the loads. A radiant floor in a well insulated house might be returning water to the boiler/storage at 90F. In that case you might really be functioning with a delta T of nearly 100F. Being able to use lower temperature water really makes a wood boiler system more convenient; maybe more efficient, too.

    But regardless, there is no law that says you must fill the firebox to the top every time. This is a good argument for having a number of thermometers from top to bottom of the tank so you can get a good idea of how much heat is still left in the tank and so filling the firebox with just enough wood to top it off (and allowing for the expected house load).
  11. tom in maine

    tom in maine Minister of Fire

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    The whole idea behind storage is twofold:
    1. Storage is acting as a buffer that allows you to fire at maximum efficiency without overheating the house.
    Sizing might solely be to prevent the system from going idle or shunting to an overheat zone. Both waste heat.
    A small tank that is sized to the capacity of the firebox will solve this.
    2. Storage lengthens time between firing. This is solely a function of heat load. You would determine the storage size by knowing the heat load
    (including DHW) and knowing what the minimum water temperature your heat distribution system can tolerate.
    Bigger is better if the house is huge and/or poorly insulated.

    I suspect most "normal" (is that any of us here?) users would like to have enough storage to heat the house when we are at work and not be married to tossing wood.
    Using storage is going to take up real estate in the basement or garage and always comes at a cost, whether it is sweat equity or outright purchase.

    I remember being on a job once that had a Dumont Gasifier with 2- 5,000 gallon tanks of pressurized storage. And that had a solar backup.

    First step is always controlling the heat load and getting the maximum usable heat out of your storage system. That Dumont customer had done neither.
  12. Mac-HD

    Mac-HD New Member

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    I agree with Tom,

    storage is important, but you dont want it to be too big- otherwise u have a ton of lukewarm water, or have to load the boiler too often,

    it is of uttermost importance to size the storage, as well as the boiler according to the buildings needs!

    As a rule of thumb, you would use 75-100 liters of storage space, per KW of boiler- that means- a 30KW ( sorry, my BTU calcs. are weak at the moment ) boiler needs approx. 2000-3000liters ( 500 - 750 gallons ) of storage. This you can heat up easily to 75-80° C ( you can figure that out in ° F. )

    Any larger, and you have a ton of luke warm heat in your storage- which aint gonna do u any good except in the springtime!
  13. Chris Hoskin

    Chris Hoskin TarmSalesGuy

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    there is also the practical reality of what size tank fits in the available space, is practical to ship, what is commonly available, and, of course, cost. We try to strike this balance with our offerings but recognize that there are some benefits to larger storage volumes as long as space and budget permits and the customer understands the implications. Two thousand gallons is a lot of storage, but not unreasonable (especially in a high temperature heating system).
  14. sdrobertson

    sdrobertson Minister of Fire

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    This is true unless you can keep your storage stratified then you get allot longer between firings. I right now have 185 degrees at the top and 115 degrees in the middle and the bottom is 105. The trick is having enough insulation and keep the tanks from mixing. When charging the tanks it takes multiple loads but the time between firings increases. Its a fine line and depends on what you want to spend and how much room you have for the storage.
  15. Piker

    Piker Minister of Fire

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    I must say that I am genuinely excited about this boiler. Preliminary messing around has me thinking that the Froling is delivering in the neighborhood of 15% more btu's to the tanks per unit of fuel volume than our previous gasser. To be fair, our previous unit was a reputable piece of equipment that served it's purpose fairly well... but the Froling is just a different animal altogether. The Austrians have taken wood gasification up a couple notches with this one.

    So far, 1000 gallons seems sufficient for my needs, though in my circumstances this boiler could handle another 500 gallons easily. As other's have noted, it depends on what you want out of your system. Personally, I like to size boilers and storage so that at design temps the math works out so you can get a minimum of a 12 hour cycle with no more than 8 hours worth of burn to fully load the tanks. This yields much more favorable cycle times on "average" winter days.

    That is not to say that you have to fully load the tanks every time you fire. Maybe with increased storage capacity it would take an evening firing followed by a first thing in the morning firing to fully load the tank... the options are limitless, and again it just depends on what you want out of your system.

    If you're usable temperature differential (delta t) is relatively small, then yes, you might want more storage. 50° of delta t will definitely not allow you to fill the loading chamber completely full with just 1000 gallons. We're able to use water down to 120 to keep us warm here... hopefully 110 or less once we're all radiant floor... so we're looking at a 70° delta t ... someday 80°+.

    I promise I'll get pics of the the finished install up soon. It's been busy around here lately, but I've finally gotten everything put back in order since the install... no junk or tools in the way to crowd the photos.

    cheers
  16. djbutt

    djbutt Member

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    All great points. This forum has been a great education for me.

    I do feel like I'm on the right track.

    Unfortunately I have hydronic forced air which needs 140 F just to kick on and really likes 160-180 to heat well, that combined with working 24 hour shifts twice a week has led me to the Froling and 2000 gallons of storage.

    I will be able to isolate each of the four 500 gallon tanks with ball valves, so hopefully during the summer just heating DHW my delta T will go from 50 to closer to 100 and I could possibly switch to 1000 gallons of storage.

    Sorry, not trying to hijack the post.

    Back to Piker's point, I to am very excited to see the results from the Froling trials, both yours and mine.
  17. Piker

    Piker Minister of Fire

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    As promised... pics of the final installation.

    Enjoy!

    Attached Files:

  18. Piker

    Piker Minister of Fire

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    And a few final pics of the dump zone, automag dump zone valve, loading unit, etc. You will note that the dump zone isn't pitched or "switchbacked" to induce the best gravity flow... but we used the room we had, and it works very well. Fin-tube is quite a pain to work with when you're trying to make it look nice for display, especially when you bought the last 4 elements at the supply house and they were all mangled. C'est la vie.

    Attached Files:

  19. Piker

    Piker Minister of Fire

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    And just a couple of pics of a few nice features on the FHG... the smoke extraction passage is amazingly effective at keeping smoke from rolling out and into your home, and the firebox aprons keep the runny creosote at bay that is generally a nuissance on wood boilers... You still get a "little" bit of creosote behind the aprons, but still not very much... and you definitely don't get creosote running out of the doors and ruining the door seals.

    that's all for now... I'll work on getting some numbers posted on delivered Btu's to the tanks as soon as I get a chance.

    Enjoy what's left of the weekend.

    cheers

    Attached Files:

  20. sparke

    sparke Minister of Fire

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    Piker, awesome looking project. I am curious also as to the reasons for switching gassers. Someone mentioned you used to have an econoburn. Can you share the reasons for switching? I am happy with my unit but I have suffered back problems and will need to switch boilers to something that takes smaller wood. I always thought if I changed units I would go with a Garn style but after reading endlessly on this web site I have come to the conclusion that those style units are somewhat hard on wood consumption. If I don't build my own unit I must say the Froling is very high on my list. Although it will be interesting to see how the unit stands the test of time... I would appreciate any further insight you would care to share...

    Cheers.
  21. Piker

    Piker Minister of Fire

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    Switching gassers, for the most part, was a business decision. Since we sell and install Bioheat and THermo-Control products now, it didn't make sense to continue to demo a product that we no longer carry.

    I am not all that familiar with the Garn other than seeing them at the tradeshows. My guess is that alot of people's wood consumption issues with that unit has to do with their underground line. Even very good underground line can lose a tremendous amount of Heat to the soil. I am a big proponent of placing wood heating equipment INDOORS for that specific reason. And the bottom line is, if you're going to heat with wood indoors, you probably want to do it as cleanly and trouble free as possible, and the froling accomplishes this (among other things) very well.

    As far as the unit standing the test of time... Froling isn't a rookie at this. I believe they build over 10,000 boilers per year, in a beautiful and massive facility so clean that you can nearly eat off the floor... and they've been around since the early 60's to boot. The construction of the vessel is pretty straightforward... 6mm (.236") plate, and some pretty nice looking robotic welds. Any steel that is exposed to intense heat from either the firebox or the combustion chamber is protected on the other side with water or refractory. I am not expecting many service issues on the control either... they use the same control platform for dozens of boiler models... something they wouldn't likely do if it were a problematic unit. One of the things I admire about European culture is the way they literally plan ahead in increments of lifetimes and generations. That mindset tends to put quality at the forefront of everything they do... including the manufacturing of wood boilers.

    did you steal my "cheers?" lol

    cheers!
  22. sparke

    sparke Minister of Fire

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    Yes I was thinking of the controls/electronics when I mentioned "standing the test of time". It sounds like that really isn't going to be an issue based on your response. Very nice project, awesome boiler, well done! I am jealous : )
  23. Piker

    Piker Minister of Fire

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    I am sincerely greatful for compliments...

    cheers.
  24. Mac-HD

    Mac-HD New Member

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    Piker, thanks for the photos, looks like a very clean installation -

    enjoy your Froling,

    M.
  25. Mac-HD

    Mac-HD New Member

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    Oh, and Sparke- you dont have to worry about the controls in The Froling- they are pretty bulletproof. Most controls last the liftetime of the Boiler themselves-

    regards-

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